Serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky

Agricultural Sciences Division

The Agricultural Sciences Division (ASD) provides agricultural, public, and environmental services and protection through administration of the Montana laws and rules in the areas of:

Cooperative agreements with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency provide services and jurisdiction in the areas of interstate and international movement of plant materials, produce and feed; enforcement of FDA rules to prevent transmission of BSE disease in cattle; and the regulation of pesticide sales, use, and production in Montana.


The Agricultural Sciences Division contains three bureaus:

The Agricultural Services Bureau provides services and enforcement of laws related to pest monitoring and suppression efforts including weed control, quarantines, import and export certifications, and insect and disease surveys. The bureau houses the state entomologist and programs relating to honeybees and alfalfa leafcutter bees. The bureau also provides licensing and registration services for pesticides, pesticide applicators and dealers, as well as services in the areas of pesticide education, ground water protection, pesticide disposal and special pesticide registration.

The Agricultural Services Bureau provides Licensing and Registration in these program areas:



Other responsibilities of the bureau include:

Pesticide Program: The pesticide program provides compliance assistance and enforcement of pesticide laws in regulations through routine inspections of pesticide users and investigations of pesticide accidents, misuse and spills. The pesticide program provides training and certification of pesticide applicators and dealers through department sponsored training and department approved industry training courses. Training and education are provided for worker protection related to pesticide use. The pesticide program conducts events for pesticide disposal and plastic pesticide container recycling.

Groundwater Protection and Monitoring: The groundwater program monitors groundwater throughout Montana for the presence of agricultural chemicals and may implement ground water protection measures if needed.

Special Pesticide Registrations: Provides for the use of pesticides in Montana for emergency pest problems under Section 18 of the Federal, Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and for special local needs under Section 24(c) of FIFRA.

Vertebrate Pest Program: Provide information and training for the management of field rodents (ground squirrels, pocket gophers, prairie dogs, voles), birds, bats, and other nuisance vertebrate animals. The program provides specific training to applicators in the use of M-44 devices and Livestock Protection Collars.

Endangered Species Protection: Provides information, training and consultation for the protection on threatened and endangered species from the use of pesticides.

Noxious Weed Free Materials Program: Along with the Noxious Weed Trust Fund, the bureau provides grants to local weed districts, researchers, communities and other governmental entities to eradicate, control or contain noxious weeds, and to encourage the development of new and innovative weed management projects and technologies.

Beekeeping Program: Includes the Apiary Program and the Alfalfa Leaf-Cutting Bee Program. The department registers all apiary sites in the state, and provides registration and certification of leaf-cutting bees.

Pest Management: Manages other programs including pest surveys and risk assessments, as well as inspections, investigations, quarantines and enforcement actions to assure regulatory compliance. It provides phytosanitary inspections and export certification to assure that commodities and products meet requirements set by importing states and countries.


Agricultural Services Bureau
Phone : (406) 444-5400
E-mail :
Fax : (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts,
Helena, MT 59601

The Commodity Services Bureau maintains eight field offices. Key duties include efforts to assure that Montana growers and consumers receive quality and effective products and services in areas of:


Commodity Services Bureau
Phone: (406) 444-3730
Fax: (406) 444-9493
302 N Roberts,
Helena, MT 59601

What We Do

The Laboratory Bureau provides chemistry testing services to the regulatory and monitoring programs in the Department of Agriculture: Feed, Fertilizer, Pesticide and Agricultural Chemical Groundwater Protection. The laboratory mission is to provide reliable and defendable results in a timely and economical manner.

In addition the laboratory provides testing services to the public as fee-for-service based on a cooperative agreement with the Montana State University Agriculture Experiment Station (MAES)

This arrangement enables the laboratory to reduce operating costs by sharing the facility, equipment and staff in service to separate agencies.



Agricultural Sciences Division Goal

To provide agricultural producers and consumers, commodity and environmental protection through the administration of the Montana laws and rules in the areas of pesticides, groundwater monitoring, noxious weed control, feeds, fertilizers, seed, anhydrous ammonia, grain commodity dealers, commodity warehousemen, nurseries, produce, mint, honey bees, alfalfa leafcutting bees and other services including organic certification, pest management consulting, laboratory analysis, pest surveys, export certification and quarantines.

Agricultural Services Bureau Objectives by Program

Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee Registration and Certification Program
  • Provide timely and efficient laboratory services to alfalfa seed growers.
  • Register alfalfa leafcutting bee beekeepers to protect producers.
Apiculture Program
  • Protect the apiary and pollination industry by minimizing the spread of pests and diseases of honeybees.
  • Protect the nectar and pollen supply through registration and inspection of apiaries.
Education and Assessment Program
  • Provide training and certification for pesticide applicators.
  • Provide technical assistance for vertebrate pest management issues faced by producers and land managers on a local, regional and statewide scale.
Groundwater Management Program
  • Monitor groundwater and the environment for adverse effects from the use or misuse of agricultural chemicals.
  • Provide for education and training of agricultural product applicators and the public regarding groundwater protection, agricultural chemical use, and the use of alternative agricultural methods.
Licensing and Registration Program
  • Provide application and licensing assistance to pesticide applicators.
  • Provide registration of pesticide products.
Noxious Weed Management Program
  • Assist county weed districts, local governments, tribes and landowners in halting the spread of listed weeds through management of the Montana Noxious Weed Trust Fund and other weed funds.
  • Provide technical expertise and general assistance on noxious weed information and noxious weed management techniques.
  • Work with university researchers, educators and others to expand weed control options and coordinate biological weed control efforts.
Noxious Weed Seed Free Forage Program
  • Prevent the spread of noxious weeds by coordinating efforts to grow and certify forage that is free of regionally designated noxious weeds and seeds.
  • Promote forage products that are free of Montana designated noxious weed seeds and regionally designated noxious weeds and seeds.
Nursery Program
  • Protect consumers by inspecting and assuring the quality of nursery stock.
  • Minimize the risk of interstate and intrastate movement of pests and diseases on nursery stock.
Pesticide Management Program
  • Ensure that pesticides are available for agricultural production and public health needs.
  • Ensure compliance with the Montana Pesticides Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
Pesticide Disposal and Pesticide Container Recycling Programs
  • Provide opportunities for applicators and the public to dispose of waste pesticides.
  • Conduct a pesticide container recycling program to reduce landfill demand.
  • Provide a means for recycling of container types for which an acceptable disposal method is not otherwise available.

Commodity Service Bureau Objectives by Program

Agricultural Commodity Dealer and Commodity Warehouse Program
  • Mitigate possible financial loss for agricultural producers when marketing commodities.
  • Ensure compliance with the Montana Agricultural Warehouse Standards Act.
  • Ensure the security of Montana grown commodities held in safekeeping for Montana producers and owners.
Anhydrous Ammonia Program
  • Promote the effective and safe use of anhydrous ammonia by persons handling the product and for surrounding communities.
  • Review and approve new sites for anhydrous ammonia facilities.
Commercial Feed Program
  • Promote the safety and effectiveness of commercial feeds and feed ingredients for livestock and companion animals.
  • Ensure that consumers receive only quality feed products made from safe and approved feed ingredients and that nutritional claims are met.
  • Ensure that commercial feeds are properly labeled so that consumers are adequately informed.
Commercial Fertilizer Program
  • Promote the safety and effectiveness of commercial fertilizers.
  • Ensure that consumers receive only quality fertilizer products made from safe and approved ingredients and that nutrient claims are met.
  • Ensure that commercial fertilizers are properly labeled so that consumers are adequately informed.
Organic Program
  • Provide professional, efficient and objective certification services to producers and handlers of organic products.
  • Facilitate the growth and success of organic agriculture in Montana.
  • Disseminate appropriate information to Montana organic growers and handlers.
Produce Program
  • Protect consumers by assuring that produce is properly labeled and graded.
  • Facilitate the export of Montana grown produce.
Produce Safety Program
  • Build a collaborative infrastructure to support Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Produce Safety Rule (PSR) compliant training, education, outreach, technical assistance, and enforcement as it relates to Montana’s produce industry.
Seed Program
  • Protect purchasers of seed by ensuring that seed is truthfully labeled and meets germination and purity standards.
  • Resolve disputes in cases of non-performance of agricultural seed.
  • Prevent the spread of restricted and noxious weed seeds when agricultural seeds are sold.
License and Registration Program
  • Provide assistance and ensure entities license, register products and pay assessments as statutorily required for the feed, fertilizer, produce and seed programs.
Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program
  • Protect Montana agriculture from invasive pests.
  • Preserve markets and facilitate the marketing of commodities.
  • Prevent economic loss through monitoring and detection of pests.
Export Certification Program
  • Minimize the risk of international movement of pests by providing export certification services.
  • Facilitate the export of Montana agricultural commodities.

Laboratory Bureau Objectives

Agricultural Commodity Dealer and Commodity Warehouse Program
  • Provide reliable, efficient analytical testing services in support of Montana agriculture.
  • Serve the analytical testing needs of the department's feed, fertilizer, pesticide enforcement and agriculture chemical ground water programs and Montana State University Agriculture Experiment Stations.